A Boy Today, a Man Tomorrow

Boy Today, Man Tomorrow

A Boy Today, a Man Tomorrow
Hayes
1959

Submitter: I found this 1959 puberty manual when cleaning out an old closet at a public library in North Carolina I worked at a couple summers ago. It had long been weeded–I brought it home to read aloud to my 12-year-old, who was sufficiently horrified!

Holly: What were they saving it in the closet for?? It warms my heart to know it got a second life through your tween.

Better Sex Naturally cover

Better Sex Naturally

Submitter: I tend to browse the non-fiction of my local library and always seem to find something interesting. I did the self-checkout but I’m pretty sure when I return it and they are checking it back into the system they will be curious to know who the patron was. I guess that’s one of the perks of the job? I agree it probably has its place in a public library, I just didn’t expect my small town library to have this in their collection. I actually flipped through it […] and there are specific chapters for men and women. The [last] picture was submitted because of the dog-eared page. I’m guessing someone wanted to circle back to that section?

Holly: The only real issue I have with this book is its age. It’s 20 years old.  It’s dog-eared, as submitter says, and while some (even most) of the information *may* be accurate twenty years later, anything remotely health-related should at least be looked at regularly after about five years. For example, there’s a section in the second image below about Yohimbe. A quick search of the googles tells me that “Yohimbe products containing man-made yohimbine hydrochloride as an ingredient are not legal to sell as a dietary supplement in the US.” I didn’t double-check the Physician’s Desk Reference as the page below indicates…but patrons won’t either.

Cookin with Crisco cover

Vintage Cookbooks: The ALB Home Edition

Jackie Olden’s Cookin’ With Crisco Oil
Olden
1986

Submitter: Mom and I both collect and use vintage cook books. Great for home libraries, not for public ones. I often snatch up old ones that have been discarded from libraries at book sales. […] And we do use them, though sometimes we alter the recipes because some of the stuff mentioned doesn’t exist anymore. Or to personalize them. Just recently I used her really old Pillsbury cookbook to make some bread, then added in my own twist – shredded cheese, olive oil, garlic salt, dried parsley, dried basil, and diced oil packed sundried tomatoes. So old recipe books, great for personal libraries, terrible for public ones! (But if any library wants to send me their old recipe books…. LOL)

Holly: I like vintage cookbooks too! I love those old church fundraisers with the spiral bindings (a.k.a. the library kiss of death, and you know there will be about a hundred of them waiting in your donation piles, which are accumulating on your libraries’ front porches while you’re away). They always use ingredients like “oleo” and suggest “a small pinch” as a measurement.

Great Men of India cover

Great Men of India

Great Men of India, Including Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi
Williams
1985

Submitter: I work at an international school library in India, and the collection development philosophy in the India section seemed to be: “Never throw anything away. Ever.” The dusty, damaged, and out of date outnumber the relevant, unfortunately, so I’ve decided it’s time to take a deep breath and dive in. These are just some of today’s treasures, including my favorite of the day: Great Men of India, Including Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi […]. It’s not the oldest, or most inaccurate, or even the most damaged. I’m just amazed that in 1985 people thought that “men” was a non-gender-specific term.

Holly: They even put a woman on the cover! If this isn’t the most damaged, then I’d hate to see the rest of the collection.

Green Wiccan herbal cover

Green Wiccan Herbal

The Green Wiccan Herbal: 52 Magical Herbs, Spells, Witchy Rituals
Silja
2009

Submitter: I’m sure there’s a place for this in a public library and my library has a few more books on the Wiccan/Wicca lifestyle. I can honestly say I have no idea how to apply any of the suggestions in the book and am too afraid to ask anyone. I’m sure there is no harm in trying to follow the suggestions in the book with no knowledge right?

Holly: What could possibly go wrong? Look, I have no issue with books about Wicca or Wiccan practices in libraries. This was even reviewed as being “well-suited for beginners or those only interested in basic kitchen witchery.” However, it either has a weird design or someone spilled something on every page.

Great Ancestor Hunt cover

The Great Ancestor Hunt

The Great Ancestor Hunt: The Fun of Finding Out Who You Are
Perl
1989

Submitter: Public middle school library in the USA. This one is just… so outdated. It’s not a subject any of my students have expressed interest in, but if they did I would not give them this book! It’s fairly general: write down what you already know, ask and interview older relatives. It takes a weird turn when it says almost all Americans are immigrants, and some might argue that “American Indians” are newcomers to the Americas via the land bridge a “mere” 15,000 years ago.  Writing the Census Bureau, and many other government bodies, is recommended, what with the Internet not being a thing yet. Also lacking is any mention of DNA testing for ancestry.  30 years old and it’s gone!

Holly: It’s definitely too old to be a useful how-to genealogy book. As submitter points out, the Internet is a thing now, for starters. It is a good idea to interview older relatives, but I agree that that’s pretty general, even for middle schoolers. Kids who may be inspired to try a new hobby, or who have a family tree project for school won’t get enough info here!

Koehler Method cover

The Koehler Method

The Koehler Method of Dog Training
Koehler
1962

Submitter: I am sure the guy was probably a top-notch dog trainer, but some of this seems a bit harsh to me. Especially if you’re just getting a puppy, stopping by the library and picking up a training manual… The book even starts with an affidavit, that is referenced many times throughout the book: “Read the affidavit again!” He especially emphasizes this when recommending electrocution, taping your own mouth shut, or “pussyfooting around points of contention”. I have never owned a dog, but this guy sure makes it look like military training.

Holly: There is definitely some controversy surrounding this method. The book is from 1962, so either way it is old enough to be seriously considered for weeding. Also, it looks like a super boring book on dog training! Aren’t there any pictures of cute puppies anywhere in this thing? Even the cover photos have miserable-looking dogs. It isn’t the most inspiring manual, for sure.

Always in Style cover

Always in Style

Always in Style with Color Me Beautiful
Pooser
1985

Submitter: Not sure which is more awful … that this book is still available at a library in our system or that one of my patrons requested it.

Holly: I think the “always” in the title is stretching it a bit! This book – this 1985 edition – is available at NINE libraries in Michigan. Whyyyyy?

The lady on the cover doesn’t actually look too bad, but I wonder what horrors await inside this thing? Anyone want to share some internal pics? (We’ll update the post if you do!) Also, I’m generally a fashion “don’t,” so don’t take my word for it that she doesn’t look bad…